CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – The “Days of the Dead” convention is an annual gathering in Chicago and elsewhere, that brings together admirers of the horror film genre, cult movies enthusiasts and panel discussions on a myriad of subjects related to film and collectibles. Several celebrities also attended the Chicago event, including Danny Trejo of the “Machete” film series, Jason Mewes and Brian O’Halloran of “Clerks,” and Joanna Cassidy of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” and they posed for the HollywoodChicago.com camera.
CHICAGO – On paper, “Stolen” probably looked like the kind of competent thriller that could get once-rising star Josh Lucas back into the spotlight and prove to producers that “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm could carry a motion picture. Sadly, lackluster direction of what is essentially no more interesting than an extended episode of “Cold Case” squanders the talent of both men, a pair of actors who deserve better showcases.
CHICAGO – TNT’s medical drama “HawthoRNe” would have felt overly generic in any month of the year, but debuting in the same one as Showtime’s far darker, subtler and more entertaining “Nurse Jackie” does the show no favors at all. Jada Pinkett Smith executive-produces and stars in a well-intentioned program with a good pedigree (John Masius of “St. Elsewhere” is one of the producers) but one that feels like a relic of a bygone era of more manipulative television.